T.L. (Tracy) Higley here, with my very first CAN blog post! I’ll be posting on the first Wednesday of every month, and for the next twelve months I’m inviting you on a journey, through an experimental year for me, and one that I hope will prove helpful for you as well.
Before we get to the experiment, a bit of background: Currently, I am writing historical suspense for B&H Books. The third book in my Seven Wonders series, Guardian of the Flame, releases in a month.
But as with most of you, I’m sure, the majority of my income comes from elsewhere. For me, that income is generated from a retail business I started about five years ago, selling craft and hobby supplies online. The business started as sort of a fluke, but as I learned more about retail, it grew, and within two years was doing well enough to be our family’s sole source of support. We have continued to grow in the three years since then, and I feel very blessed by the success there, as it has allowed me to pursue writing with more freedom.
Aloha from Karen, I'm interviewing Cheri Cowell, a dear friend and someone who worked hard to create great sales for her first book. She planned her own tri-state book tour and build an incrdible database of churches.
Welcome Cheri. Let's find out more about you and what you did to market your books.
Hey, friends! Jennifer Devlin here with a CAN Board member post. Today, I want to focus on the importance of staying “prayed up” as we serve God through writing and speaking. Prayer is not only the foundation of everything we do in life and ministry; it is absolutely essential to our success and survival as we endure struggles, disappointments, triumphs and victories.
We’re still celebrating Christmas in September here, with the release today of Christmas Homecoming, which includes a story by CAN author Elizabeth Ludwig.
Soar to new heights in this inspirational Christmas romance collection
where four females encounter love amid the Colorado Rockies. A widowed
grandmother, Carol Scheirer, is filled with angst, unsure that her family will accept the new man in her life. Wedding planner Noelle Evans wonders if the guy who once jilted her deserves a second chance. Old letters put writer Christmas Scheirer at odds with the guardian of her grandfather’s estate. Missionary Holly Rivers finds she still has feelings for the man she left behind. Will mistletoe missives result in more than one Boulder bride?
It’s still summer, but get ready for some fun Christmas reading. Releasing today are two books with stories by CAN author Lena Nelson Dooley:
Christmas Love at Lake Tahoe
Lena Nelson Dooley, Jeanie Smith Cash, Jean Kincaid, Jeri Odell
ISBN-10: 1602605637 ISBN-13: 978-1602605633
Love hits the slopes at Christmastime. Four young women, fresh out of college, pursue their careers at a new ski lodge at Lake Tahoe’s Incline Village. Bethany has a hard time focusing on her RN career when she meets a handsome paramedic. A man who takes chances on the slopes almost makes Scarlett lose her focus on planning things to the last detail. A rival seems to be undermining Stephanie’s efforts to develop a time share program at Snowbird Lodge. A widower and his daughter find a place in the heart of Michaela, even though she’s chosen a male-free existence.
Wild West Christmas
Kahtleen Y’Barbo, Lena Nelson Dooley, Vickie McDonough, Darlene Franklin
Four sisters are raised on a Texas ranch by their widowed father. Christmas courtships corral these women when a citified tenderfoot, a budding evangelist from a Wild West show, a part-Mexican horse wrangler, and a Texas Ranger ride into their lives.
I’ll be here on the fourth Thursday of every month to chat with you about the ins and outs of developing a speaking platform. Please feel free to ask questions along the way.
First, please allow me give you a little background on how I got started as a speaker. God built my platform out of the ashes of my pain. When I was a young mom battling a vicious disease (and the financial hardships that followed), I wondered if God had lost my address. My prayers seemed to bounce off the ceiling and God seemed especially silent. Then one day a woman from my church called and said the most amazing thing to me:
“Susie, I’ve heard about all of the hardships you and your family are going through and I took those concerns to God in prayer. The Lord showed me a picture of a platform that He’s building with your pain. Lean in and learn everything you can during this time, then you’ll have something to say when you get to the other side of this painful journey.”
That’s all I needed to hear. God was up to something. In spite of the fear, fatigue, and despair that swirled around me, I leaned in. I listened. I took lots of notes. And I trusted God.
One day, out of the blue, I received a call from the leader of a MOPS group. Somehow she had heard about me and wanted me to share my story with her women. I was a weak, scared, and wounded little bird, but God used me in my weakness. And thus began – from very small beginnings – my speaking ministry.
For me, every new stage of growth in this ministry has always been preceded by a deep (and somewhat painful) character cleansing time. I now know to lean in and learn during those refining times so that I can stand strong in the next place He has for me.
That blessed phone call came about 17 years ago and in His wisdom, God has established my platform in pace with the ages of my kids and with the state of my health. Now that my kids are grown and I have the time, I’m running to keep up with it all. I’m represented by a wonderful national agency (Ambassador Speaker’s Bureau) and my platform is steadily growing. I say no to more events than I say yes to, but I have to in order to keep up with my writing and the occasional radio work that I do. It took a while, but now I’ve got some great momentum and to tell you the truth, I’m hanging on to the Vine for dear life!
I tell you all of this to encourage you. If you have a heart to speak…lean in – right where you are – and learn everything you can from your current season of life. Take lots of notes. Notice how God is working all around you. Be a student of God’s Word and a helper of the human condition. Be faithful right where you stand. Be fruitful with what you have. And believe Him for open doors and new opportunities.
God wants to use you more than you want to be used by Him!
Next month my blog topic will be: Hone Your Craft and Humble Yourself.
Jan Kern here . . . hoping to offer a few words of encouragement for those tough moments in a writer’s life.
Wherever you are in your writing journey, I’m going to guess that there is something going on right now that feels . . . well, impossible.
Could be pumping out that amazing, hard-to-turn-down proposal, or getting it into the right hands. Could be, now that you have the contract, the deadline feels impossible . . . or you’re staring at a flashing cursor going nowhere. Maybe the book is published, but effective marketing feels out of reach, either due to limited know-how or resources.